“Swedish, a home away from home” for this mother and clinical supervisor
Swedish aims to foster a supportive and caring environment in the workplace, and some caregivers even say their work family feels like an extension of their actual family.
One such caregiver is Shalonda, clinical supervisor at Swedish First Hill. We recently spoke with her about her path to Swedish, what she loves about the organization and the Seattle area, and what her goals are for the future.
Finding her calling as a clinical supervisor
Despite her mother and extended family working in health care, it wasn’t until Shalonda had her second child with the help of a midwife that she found her calling. The care she received drove her to pursue nursing. Through clinical rotations, Shalonda fell in love with the OR, where she had the ability to give her undivided attention to one patient at a time.
The best of everything working in the Seattle area
Shalonda loves the water and mountains and quickly fell in love with the Puget Sound. Starting out as a traveling nurse, she first worked in Milwaukee then Madison, Wisconsin. Deciding it was too cold, she came to the Seattle Metro area. Working at Swedish Edmonds, Shalonda kept extending her contract. Not only was she drawn to the area, she was drawn to Swedish. “From day one, I never felt like an outsider. Even as a traveler, I was welcomed into what felt like family. And Seattle felt like the place I was supposed to be.”
Love what you do and where you work
Work-life balance is important to this now full-time clinical supervisor at Swedish First Hill. And, that is reflected in her decision to work at Swedish. She says, “Not all environments are family-oriented. I think it’s important that you not only love what you do, but love where you work. It’s my home away from home.”
Stepping up as a team at Swedish First Hill
Right around when COVID hit, case volume significantly decreased as elective procedures were put on hold. When restrictions lifted, there was a surge in elective cases scheduled. Staffing ratios were struggling to meet volume. One day, Shalonda looked at the schedule to try and anticipate staffing needs. With 10 rooms going and only half the staff needed, she started to get concerned. Then calls started coming into the front desk with staff volunteering to stay however long they were needed. “That day was a win, because everybody stepped up as a team and it wasn’t a me, me, me. It was how can I contribute for the patients and for my team to get this work done and make the caseload bearable?”
What’s in store
Shalonda meets with her supervisor one-on-one almost daily, getting a report in the afternoon before her shift starts while also discussing opportunities for more involvement with leadership decisions. “I want to continue to grow in this role to see how I can make an impact and look for further opportunities within Swedish and within the perioperative setting.”
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